Posted on December 13, 2010 in Articles, Coaching by Rachael

  AA | AA

transformationSometimes people ask me what kind of coach are you? One of the words I use to describe my kind of coaching is transformational.

And what does that really mean Rachael?”, a colleague of mine asked recently.

Firstly, I love working with people who want to commit to a journey of self discovery, beyond performance improvement, to make a quantum leap in the way that they lead.

Maybe it sounds a bit arrogant – who am I to think that I can transform anyone?

Well first of all, I don’t transform them. The transformation comes from the client’s learning through the coaching – the insights and connections that they make during our work together.

In many ways the coach’s job is to stay out of the way of the client’s own natural development, and occasionally challenge by causing the coachee to notice something new.

A great question I have learned from my work on Clean Language is And what is happening now?” This elegant question lasers straight to the pattern of behaviour, in the moment, as it happens. A pattern that I have spotted may need some light shining on it.

Carl Rogers, the American humanistic psychologist held that as human beings we naturally want to grow and develop (self-actualise), so this process of transforming over time is natural to us.

What are some of the things that are important in encouraging this kind of transformative change in the leaders I work with?

  1. Say that’s what I do – so that people who are looking for that kind of coaching, can find it more easily
  2. Explore the client’s connection to others in the business. This includes their boss, their team, business partners and suppliers and allows them to start to see the change they are making has an effect on the wider “system” they are working in
  3. Explore change with the commissioning client and the coachee, the connections between our coaching partnership and the organisation’s overall business aims
  4. Hold the firm intention that your coachee has the most amazing set of resources and can achieve whatever they want
  5. Hold in mind that the initial goal is often a catalyst for broarder change
  6. Encourage reflective learning by suggesting keeping a journal of changes that they notice in themselves over the course of the coaching – reflective learning is a cornerstone of the self aware leader.

Here are a couple of comments from a recent coachee and (the second comment) from their boss, which they have kindly given permission for me to share.

“I have found the sessions to be extremely enlightening, thought provoking and the learnings from them will stand me in good stead for years to come.”


I genuinely think that (the coachee) has been on a voyage of self discovery and the coaching has given him some sustainable tools to enable him to continue the journey of self awareness.”